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WA Government reports nearly $500 million spend with Aboriginal businesses

Western Australia has upped its procurement spend with Aboriginal businesses. 

The WA Government reported a total of $500 million was awarded to Aboriginal businesses over three years through the Aboriginal Procurement Policy.

Federally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses engagement is also on the rise. 

In 2021, The Department of Defence exceeded its targets for contracts awarded to Indigenous Australian businesses by 600%. The Strategist reported this represented a doubling of contract value, from $300 million to $600 million. 

The increase in WA was reported in the Aboriginal Procurement Policy Third Year Performance Report. It showed the proportion of Western Australian Government contracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses has grown for the third year in a row.

The policy mandates progressive targets for the award of contracts to Aboriginal businesses. The policy challenges WA Government buyers by setting a 3% benchmark.  

In the 2020-21 financial year, the WA Government awarded 6.5 per cent of its contracts to Aboriginal businesses—more than double the target.

Its progressive whole-of-government contracting targets have been steadily increasing since 2018:

  • 2018-19: 1 per cent required, 4.7 per cent achieved;
    2019-20: 2 per cent required, 5.5 per cent achieved; and
    2020-21: 3 per cent required, 6.5 per cent achieved.

Since being introduced in July 2018, the policy has awarded 697 contracts to 209 Aboriginal businesses. The total combined value is more than $476 million.

Of the 284 contracts awarded throughout WA, 217 contracts are valued at more than $100,000 (76 per cent).

The WA Minister for Finance, Hon Dr Tony Buti MLA said growing the sector creates better financial outcomes for Aboriginal Western Australians.

Go to the WA Government website to read more.

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